Showing posts with label arizona. Show all posts
Showing posts with label arizona. Show all posts

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Life Update

Baring any sort of cataclysmic issues in the next few days Wifey and the kids are headed home this weekend which is excellent. Our time in Arizona is winding down. In a couple weeks or so we will be out of here. I have mixed feelings about that. We like it down here a lot but getting to a place where we will be stable for awhile will be nice.

There are a lot of things you don't do in a temporary (say under a year though this was really close to that) place. Painting or any sort of home modifications are pretty much out. Also you just don't put in that much effort to really get settled in, make friends, etc all. This is also sort of self defeating. You do/ don't do things because it is a short term place; so it feels even more short term.

Socially we got some good family time which was nice. That was sadly disrupted by the trip home that never ended. We got a dog which was probably a mistake but at least it was a fun one. Being back in America is pretty awesome so that has been good.

In terms of preparations some good things happened. I built a nice rifle. We stashed some food. Got a lot of work done towards our systems. Overall some solid prep work was done so that was cool.

Anyway in conjunction with the move not a ton is going to happen with preps for a bit. I'll still be writing but doing less stuff generally means a bit less fuel to make for interesting writing. I suppose in all long ventures (somewhere around 6 years I think) there are ebbs and flows.

So that is what's going on. Please excuse me, it is time to make a monster taco salad, except without all the really unhealthy stuff.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Baby Glocks?

As it gets hot here packing the G19, other than open carry, isn't getting any easier. Do have a valid option in the J frame but the capacity and reload situation there is not so great. A better option that will be easier to conceal than the G19 would be nice to have on inventory. A Glock 26 came into my head as an option. A bit thick for such a small gun but it holds a lot of bullets for it's size plus the mags/ parts/ ammo are already on inventory.

If you own or have owned a Glock 26 I am interested in your thoughts. Thanks,

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Garand Officially Sold, Tuscon Fun and Various Ramblings

Well the Garand sale was finalized. I do not miss it. The Garand is not an especially practical gun and too expensive to hold onto for collectible's sake or to regularly shoot as a plinker for fun. I am also glad those resources went to other things.

Slowly but surely I am swapping a big messy collection for a slightly less big collection that makes a lot more sense. Part of it is simplifying by eliminating calibers and such. The other part is that I am pretty much done compromising. Selling and trading close enough guns for just right guns if you get what I mean.

Now that the Garand is gone I am halfway toying with getting rid of my other '06. I've been wanting to migrate to .308 anyway so this might be a good excuse. We will see what happens there down the road. 

Spent a fair bit of time driving around Tuscon today from errand to errand. Half of the city looks like a ghetto war zone though in fairness the other half is pretty nice. Diamondback Police Supply was big fun. Plenty of AR's, AK's, etc and some pistols but not much ammo. No .22lr, 9mm or .223 to be had today. Looked at some holsters and such. Ammo aside it is a very well stocked store that is fun to go through.

Wifey and I genuinely like it down here. If there were not the minor issues of undocumented citizens illegal alien criminals and drug cartels with their associated local gangs we would probably settle down here. There is sort of a weird hippy redneck fusion thing going on that suits us really well.

I'm bored of writing now so it is time to wrap this post up.Hope you are all having a good weekend.

 Take care of each other,

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Real American Heroes #3 Jeff Milton

One of this interesting parts of moving around the country is learning the new regions history. Southern Arizona is filled with Wild West heroes, villains and gunfights. Today I want to expose you to Jeff Milton. Serving as a Texas Ranger, US Marshal, and in numerous other positions he was a lifetime lawmen and gunfighter.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Gabby Giffords Husband Buys AR-15 from Diamondback Police Supply

Saw this story yesterday. Apparantly Mark Kelly decided to go to Diamondback Police Supply in Tuscon to buy an AR-15 and a 1911. It is up all over the place so I am reasonably sure this is legitimate.

I sincerely felt for this couple. They are by all measures good people who has a terrible thing happen to them. For goodness sake the woman got shot in the head. If they (as it seems) started to have different feelings about guns and gun control I can sort of respect that. Don't agree with them but can at least respect the position.

However if he is so violently anti gun why should one of those evil mean guns live in their house. Shouldn't he get a double barreled shotgun or something? Tactical expert Joe Biden says they are easier to aim than an AR-15 anyway. This is the classic guns for me but not for thee of the gun banners.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

AZ and Open Carry

So I have been down here in Arizona for a few months. We like it a lot. The weather is generally real nice, stuff is pretty cheap, very pro gun. (For background we come from a pretty gun friendly open carry legal state.) This brings us to open carry.

First I will discuss trends I have seen in OC down here and then we will talk about OC as a concept. Pretty much every time we go to a place with a lot of folks (like Walmart or a grocery store or a festival/ parade) I see at least one person open carrying. Almost all the folks open carrying are (at the risk of judging ethnicity by appearance) white men. I have seen 1 Hispanic fellow open carrying and 2 women.

Personally ,with no statistical backing, I do not think there are more people packing guns around  than at home in the PNW. I just think the ratio of open carry is a lot higher down here in Arizona for whatever reason.  Should anybody have actual evidence that shows different I would love to see it.

Broadly speaking most seem to be lower middle to middle class (for whatever that means). There have been no definite trends in terms of guns. A few Glocks, a few Kel Tech's, some double action wheel guns, either a black powder pistol or a single action revolver, a nice stainless 1911 and a Sig. As to holsters I have seen 1 nice leather rig (the guy with the 1911 who also carried 2 spare mags and either knew what he was doing or at least how to buy like he did), a few kydex holsters, some various cheapo leather rigs, and a bunch of el cheapo Uncle Mikes nylon rigs.

I do appreciate that everybody we have interacted with that was open carrying was very nice. The (to some people) scary looking biker dude packing a SAA knock off in an Uncle Mikes holster with his significant other trying to find the right toy for some little kid were nice to us and Walker. A chick packing a Kel Tech (PF9?) was quite pleasant and careful not to smoke near our kid at a parade. They were probably good folks or at least realized armed people need to behave at a higher level.

Now it is worth touching on Open Carry as a method of carry. My YouTube acquaintance Hoss USMC is a big open carry advocate as well as a patriot. I have talked it a bit with him in the comments of various posts on his channel. Anyway...

Open carry is a deterrent to problems. Strait up folks are a lot less likely to try and mug you if they see a handgun. I used to need to travel to a pretty sketchy town for basic services. Packed my 1911 OC and never had any issues. Some people might say folks will target you because you have a gun but I think that is dumb. People who want to steal a gun will break into a house or a car that has a Glock/ XD/ HK sticker on it, not try and roll a dude packing a pistol who will likely shoot them.

A lot of folks try and talk about the statistics of cops getting killed with their own guns or whatever and relate them to open carry. This is invalid because cops are in an oppositional situation with a lot of criminals and marginalized folks. That just does not relate to Joe Bob open carrying a pistola to Starbucks then Bed Bath and Beyond and eventually for some sushi. He is not in an oppositional situation with any thugs.

Personally I do not open carry as a rule. I OC if in a state where that is the only way I can legally carry. Did so in my trip down here. This is mostly for my wife. She would rather not have people looking at us and such stuff which I understand.

Concealed carry gives an advantage in terms of tactics because you could surprise a person with a weapon.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Ruminating Thoughts On The Coming Year

The Sun will continue to rise and set. Basically I expect a slightly worse version of this year.

Taxes- Taxes will go up. Part of this will be strait forward rate increases but most of it will be increases in 'fees', eliminations of various loopholes and such. The bottom line is that more money will flow from your pocket to multiple levels of government.

The Economy- I am not sure about our economy. My initial thought is that the lost decade our current jobless, non housing inflation and cheap money fueled recovery will continue. In this regard I expect a bit worse version of 2012. Then again who knows.

The European Sovereign Debt issue could well reemerge. With China's unsustainable growth rates turning to inflation and the economy slowing the US may well be one of the better looking horses in the glue factory this coming year.

I suspect artificial manipulation of gold and silver prices to continue. Silver will probably continue to be a pretty good buy over the coming year. Once our food storage goals are met we will put away some more PM's for sure.

Inflation- Hidden inflation will continue. The current CPI calculation seems manipulated to suit political aims inaccurate on how inflation affects normal folks. Most of this inflation will be covered up by smaller packages, less food by weight and the usual tricks. Expect your income to purchase fewer goods and services than before. 

Gun Control- I think that gun control could go many ways.  Were I forced to take a guess something will probably happen next year. The Dem's will do something, potentially via executive order if needed, to get a symbolic victory. It could be as benign as mandatory reporting of certain behaviors by medical professionals and maybe import limitations on certain guns like Siaga 12 shotguns and AK's or could be worse.

Crime- It ain't gonna get better. The flat lined economy will push some marginal folks towards crime. Also as state and county agencies try to make budgets work they are going to continue or increase prisoner releases. Yes these folks will generally have been arrested for nonviolent offenses but that is just what they were caught for. Plenty of violent criminals are incarcerated for various minor offenses and some of them will inevitably be released.

Down here in the South West I think the Reconquista downward spiral of drug/ cartel violence and unchecked illegal immigration will continue.

I wish that it wasn't my opinion that the partisan nature of politics in the US will get worse. Identity politics and hate mongering to suit various agendas will continue. There is potential for short flashes of localized violence being orchestrated to suit specific purposes. Think twitter flash mobs against political opponents.

Afghanistan- It isn't going to get better. The writing is on the wall that we are leaving. Expect limited conflict to support political goals. Think 'Nam in about 1971.

Wellthose are, for whatever they are worth, my thoughts on what is coming in 2013. Hopefully they give you something to think about. Again in closing I expect it to be a lot like last year but a bit worse.  Good luck,

What are your thoughts on the coming year?


Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Snowpocalypse Arizona

Despite the prevalent view otherwise it does in fact snow in Arizona. Well if you are above 4,000 feet or so anyway. Time to bust out some cold weather gear as it is a somewhat cold 34 degrees F outside.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Random Questions: Rails, Lower Receivers and Winter Gardening in the SW

1) Does anybody have experience with drop in free floating rails? I am looking forward at Project AR Upgrade Phase 2 and this Troy rail looks like a good option. If anybody has experience with Troy rails or another drop in free floating rail please chime in.

2) Does the brand of a stripped lower receiver actually matter? I'm talking just the big piece of metal all the stuff goes in and on. I saw a big post on ARF that basically said they are actually made by 3 manufacturers.

3) Does anybody have experience with fall/ winter gardening in the Southwest? If so please either leave your contact info or PM me at

Thanks in advance

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Notes From The Road- Day 3

Well I am safely in Arizona. Got a late start today. Partially because I slept in which was totally worth it. Then I ordered what looked like a quick to go breakfast and waited almost an hour. Ended up not really getting onto the road until close to 11.

The miles flew by and I got some good pictures. Hit rush hour in Phoenix which sucked. Ended up getting a late linner (lunch-dinner) in Tuscon at In and Out Burger. First time I had ever been there. The burger was good but I am not so sure about the fries. Will have to try again to see if it was an anomaly.

Anyway I am at my destination and in a motel for the night. Tomorrow if all goes well I will get into our residence. Wifey and kiddo will follow in a couple weeks when things are set up.

So far Constitution Carry and In and Out are compelling reasons that Arizona is pretty awesome. 

Think I am going to take a shower and hit the sack,

Monday, October 1, 2012

Be Advised

I am  going to be on the road for the next few days traveling from the wonderful PNW to Arizona. Depending on if the flee bag reasonably prices motels I stay in has the web I might not be on few days. Posts are scheduled for this period. Once down there until I get established convenience and my schedule will dictate internet usage. So if it is a hassle or I am busy then I won't be on much. 

Don't worry that I got murdered by creepy mutants in the desert if I don't reply to an email for a week or maybe two. If you don't get a response in a week or two resend because it might have slipped through the proverbial cracks. Then if you don't hear anything maybe I did actually get murdered.

Anyway I wanted to let you all know.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

More AK Discussion: Accuracy Revisited and Other Rifles

In response to my recent post on AK's (and Mini's) AZRedhawk44 said: I stewed on this over the weekend subconsciously, and it leaped to the forefront of my mind while I was at a High Power match (I shoot an M14 so I don't have any skin in the AK/Mini conflict either way).
One of Ryan's very valid points was the legitimacy of shooting someone more than 100 yards away. At first, I accepted that premise.

At the match, however, an idea jumped out at me. "Hits" aren't necessarily all good. A 200 yard shot with an AK that tags a leg, arm hip or shoulder might still leave someone functional enough to return fire at me. Yes, it's a hit. But despite the fact that I tried damned hard to make that shot count as best as I could... the platform and cartridge dynamics allowed that bullet to drift 8 to 12 inches more off target than a different platform.

No, I don't want to drag a platform war onto your site. I like FALs, FNARs, AR-10's, AR-15's, DaeWoos, Galils, M1's and M14/M1A's. I like lots of gun platforms. I even like the Mini and AK for what they can do.

The price difference between a self-built AR and a higher end AK or a new Mini just isn't that far, and the AR will (typically) put the lead in the center of the target better.

I just think if you're gonna aim at something and squeeze the trigger, the best possible outcome is for the bullet to impact _exactly_ where you intended to hit.

TOR Here: Thanks for taking the time to ponder this question and then write a reply. Personally from informal experience I believe that the AK platform, given a servicable weapon, is quite capable of hitting dinner plates at 100 meters and a torso sized target at 200 or maybe more. There is certainly a range where the weapons inherant accuracy limitations start pulling shots out of the vital torso and into flesh wounds and appendages.

I don't think anyone could disagree with your statement that "if you're gonna aim at something and squeeze the trigger, the best possible outcome is for the bullet to impact _exactly_ where you intended to hit."

I think there are a few universally desirable characteristics of a rifle:

Reliability- It should go bang every single time you pull the trigger, no matter what. Seeing as firearms are mechanical and even the best mechanical things fail now and then we should seek the lowest failure rate available.

Ruggedness- You want a rifle that can take a beating. Most of us generally take good care of our rifles. However we still definitely want them to work if they happen to be banged around, dropped,  not get cleaned as often as they should or get exposed to the elements.

Adaptability- The ability to change a rifles ergonomics, fit, and sights to your preferences and needs. The ability to employ useful accessories.

Commonality- There should be wide access to magazines, spare parts, accessories and such.

Affordability- Outside of gamers and fanboys in forums (there are some good folks there too) the rest of us live in the real world. In the real world instead of theorizing about what the best possible maker for every single component in the world we have to live in a budget. Be it tiny, modest or pretty decent we all have budgets. We need to consider the cost of magazines, optics, ammunition, useful accessories and other ancillary equipment.

Capacity- More bullets and fewer reloads are better than less bullets and more reloads.

Lastly since you already mentioned it accuracy- A rifle that can't hit stuff you shoot at isn't very useful.

It would be great to have a rifle that is devastatingly accurate out to great distances, holds a lot of bullets and reloads quickly, is utterly reliable and rugged under all sorts of adverse conditions, has great adaptability and parts/ ammo/ mags which are widely available. It would also be great if this rifle and its ancillary equipment were so cheap that an average working class guy could get a few rifles, a big box of magazines and enough ammo to fight a moderately intense guerilla campaign.

Ever heard the building analogy that you can have a job be done fast, cheap and right but you only get to pick two? So it could be fast and right but not cheap. Or fast and cheap but not right. It could also be cheap and right but not fast.

Have you ever played the kind of video game where you get to build your own boxer? You get a certain amount of points to divide among different categories (I remember strength, foot speed, quickness, conditioning and toughness or something like that)? If you put all of your points into quickness you could punch really fast but it wouldn't do much and you were really easy to knock out. Put all your points into strength and your boxer will knock people out, when he can hit them. Anyway you get the idea.

My observation is that some foolish and inexperienced people buy a rifle because they saw it in a movie or know a certain group or unit uses it. However smart and experienced people choose a weapon based upon the best balance of the above desirable characteristics prioritized by their own unique scenario with the limiting factor of affordability. Affordability is a limiting factor because in order to have a rifle you have to be able to buy it.

We also need to consider the cost of multiple weapons. After all if things are so screwed that you need a rifle wouldn't it be a good idea for your spouse to have one also? What about your 15 year old child? Sure the idea of arming them is scary in a lot of ways. However if Rorke's Drift is playing out in your neighborhood then the kid needs a damn rifle. Also remember that two is one and one is none.

Price point is an interesting discussion. I think it is important to compare as equitably as possible. For example comparing a bare bones generic AR some yahoo put together in his basement to an AK that comes out of a highly prestigious custom shop is gaming the scenario a bit. Comparing chevy to chevy and BMW to BMW makes more sense. The difference in price between say a WASR-10 at about $550 and an Olympic or Stag AR at say $750 isn't that much. Mags are about a wash. AK's do however have a real cost edge in terms of ammunition. My observation, and YMMV, is that AR's don't really like steel cased ammo. AK's on the other hand will eat anything. Brass cased .223 costs about twice as much as steel cased 7.62x39. So $200 (I didn't check prices today so please don't nit pick) will get you about a half case of .223 or a full case of 7.62x39.

If you look at say a mid range AR with 10 mags, a case of ammo and a few spare parts/ accessories vs a mid range AK with 10 mags, a case of ammo and a few spare parts/ accessories the actual cost is different. Make it two or three cases of ammo and the cost difference is really significant.

As I mentioned peoples own unique scenario is a big factor here. Do they live in the city or out in the country. On the wide open western plains or the primordial woods of the deep south. Do they have a good budget or is money really tight? How important are accessories and their availability? Do they plan to also hunt with their defensive rifle? Do they have problems carrying long heavy rifles? What about felt recoil? Is their plan to have a CQB machine to keep by their bed, an all around rifle or a precision marksmenship machine. What kind of worst case scenario does this rifle fit into?

When we are talking about modern fairly common magazine fed semi automatic rifles such as the AK, AR, Mini- 14, M1A, FN-FAL, HK 91 series, etc. I am becoming less and less convinced there are any  real absolutes. I don't think it is so much about the right rifle but the right rifle FOR YOU. If cost is a concern and you aren't so worried about long shots an AK could be a great choice. If you really like commonality and adaptability but cost is a factor then maybe an AR is the answer. If you like the power of a .308 but are concerned about the cost of magazines and spare parts then an HK 91 type could be the way to go. If love rifles made of wood and steel, you really want to reach out and touch someone accurately and money isn't a concern then an M1A would be a good choice. A great rifle for one person might be a horrible rifle for another.

Personally I like AR's and AK's. In terms of rifles I grew up on AR's. I have more muscle memory with that platform than any other or any two others combined. I have a lot of experience and comfort when it comes to that platform. I also appreciate that they are easy to use and pretty darn accurate without completely breaking the bank. I got an AK for no particular reason a few years back. For a random spur of the moment (made the decision at a gun store) purchase I couldn't have done better. I am coming to like AK's more and more. They are affordable to purchase, very affordable to equip, utterly reliable and as rugged as they come. Also they are pretty fun to shoot.

I urge you to be realistic about your budget and consider what it will cost to fully (however you define that) equip a rifle. Next think about your own unique scenario. Do plenty of research and fire as many weapons as possible. Seriously reflect on and consider your options for this major purchase and you will end up with a weapon that will serve you well.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Muzzle Brake/ Flash Hiders by Dean in AZ

I know I'm off topic here,but with you,or one of you being in the military,and a gun enthusiast,I have a stupid question.
I run a small home machine shop,and currently make muzzle brake's/flash hider's.In your opinion,what is the best material/style? I prefer to use aluminum for they light weight,as the last thing
I want is anything heavy.Yet I see stainless brake's selling for less than I can buy material for,with no labor! I've given up making anything for the 10/22,as you can buy one on ebay cheaper than I can make one!
What would be your professional opinion,weight or porting?
Oh,and to quote my crap!!
Dean in AZ

TOR says:
Dean, To be honest that is a bit out of my area of expertise though in the same ballpark. I buy, carry and shoot guns in my personal life and carry and shoot them for work but that is it. If any readers have thoughts on this it would be appreciated. My one thought takes things a bit in another direction. Look for a way to make your muzzle brake/ flash hiders unique and more better. You are never going to make them cheaper than someone who makes thousands of the same thing in a heavily automated fashion. You are never going to beat some machine at making AR Flash hiders.

Service and unique products are the areas I would look to move into. Getting a few solid designs and being willing to make "customized" stuff could be a worthwhile nitche. Pick the type for your gun in the color you want sort of thing. You might sell fewer but the margins would likely be a lot better. Just my .02 cents.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Glock or Gold?

I saw this post over at Suburban Prepper. Thought about it while we went and grabbed a bite to eat then rented a couple of movies. My initial thought is to get a half dozen or so of each.

The real thing is that our money is limited while desires are infinite and buying one thing often means that at least right away you can not buy another thing. So which thing to buy? Are you better taking that wad of $100 bills and buying some gold or getting a glock?

Well that sort of depends. Do you want a gold coin or a Glock or a tv or a set of snow tires or a weekend in Phoenix Arizona? I threw in the last three just because it shows there are many options for your hard earned money and that weighing unlike items is difficult. A Glock 9mm will be great for defending yourself but will not keep your car from spinning out in the snow this winter. It is nice to watch TV but seeing Uncle Joe in Phoenix would be fun and they have that place with the great margaritas.

I guess the simple question is if you want a Glock or a piece of Gold. Obviously a Glock is good for defending yourself or target shooting or barter in case the end of the world happens [though to high in value for day to day transactions a quality handgun would be great to trade for a large animal or passage the heck out of somewhere or some sort of other big thing]. The same dollar denomination in gold [we are talking about what is best for your hard earned dollars] will not defend you but then again that isn't what we are making a purchase for. One advantage I can think of with gold is that presently there are no regulations about who you can buy or sell small quantities [I think over certain weights there is some regulation but us normal folks won't be troubled by that.] of gold or to whom they can sell it to. If you are from Idaho and want to sell an ounce of gold to a felon from California while in a restaurant in Nevada nobody gives a darn at least to the best of my knowledge. Also if you sell or swap gold to someone they will not be able to use that gold to cause physical harm to you. Lets say the sketchy bikers from that compound out in the hills show up to the Ye Old Barter Faire with a couple of solar panels you can totally use. A piece of gold in their hands will get you the goods you want but they can not use it to do physical harm to you. The same is obviously not true with a handgun. [Trading a pistol to kind old Farmer Joe who has something you need would probably be just fine but suffice to say care should be given in who you would want to arm.]

That gold is a very compact store of value also has some advantages. [Yes it also has disadvantages but that is why God was kind enough to invent silver and .22 ammo:] The stuff currently costs a bit more than a grand an once depending on what size or type of coins you want. Lets say it looks like something really bad is going to happen so you take a bunch of cash out of the bank or whatever and turn it into gold. All of a sudden you need to leave home with little warning and not a lot of stuff, gold is perfect. With a tiny bit of creativity and or halfway decent sewing skills you could leave home with a backpack and a dozen ounces of gold discretely stored on your person or in your possessions. Plenty enough to get a place to stay for awhile or even heaven forbid have a leg up in making a fresh start. It would be a lot harder to toss a couple dozen Glocks into your backpack.

I personally buy guns for my own use and to have the option of loaning or giving to others in a time of need. If the need arose I could easily part with a few guns. Suppose I could buy arms as 'an investment' or for barter, maybe someday I will. More likely I will just buy guns I like and will use. I have a decent collection of guns now and will probably double it over the course of my lifetime. Offloading some off caliber or non standard platform weapons is something I could do if need be.

I buy gold because it is a non denominated store of wealth which is widely accepted and has been for a very long time. Within my means I will continue to buy gold over the long term.
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